(CNN) In a sweeping address to the United Nations on Friday, Pope Francis presented himself as a champion of the poor and dispossessed, urging world leaders to adopt concrete solutions to combat war, widespread poverty and economic destruction.
When I read an announcement like that I can’t help but snort. The Pope presenting himself as a champion of the poor … who is he kidding?
The first thing I did after reading this announcement was Googling “How rich is the Vatican?” and this is what I found:
Bankers' best guesses about the Vatican's wealth put it at $10 billion to $15 billion. Of this wealth, Italian stockholdings alone run to $1.6 billion, 15% of the value of listed shares on the Italian market.
The Vatican’s wealth is not only measured in money though. When I visited St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, I was amazed at the amount of paintings, marble statues, jewel encrusted Bibles and jewelry that was on display.
We’re not talking a worth of millions, but of billions of dollars.
The Pope also implored nations to embrace refugees, but he himself doesn’t want anyone to set foot in Vatican City uninvited. The whole of the Vatican is protected by a huge wall and heavily guarded at every entrance.
Remember the saying … “Practice what you preach” … I guess it doesn’t apply to the Pope.